LAWRENCE — Former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum shattered a glass ceiling to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate who didn’t follow in footsteps of a male spouse.
The Kansas Republican went from Maize school board member to U.S. senator by winning the 1978 general election with 53% of ballots cast. She easily prevailed in two re-election campaigns with more than 73% of the vote before retiring from the Senate in 1997.
“I know full well I could not be re-elected today,” said Kassebaum, who spoke Wednesday at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. “It’s not that I’ve changed so much.”